At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle ended the day lower on profit-taking. December live cattle closed $1.05 lower at $186.76 and February lives closed $1.07 lower at $190.92. November feeders closed $2 lower at $251.57 and January feeders closed $2.22 lower at $252.25.
It was a quiet Friday for direct cash cattle business following the week’s light to moderate trade. For the week, Northern dressed deals were at mostly $292, $3 higher than the prior week’s weighted averages. Southern live deals were marked at $183 to $184, $1 to $2 higher than the previous week’s business.
At the Mitchell Livestock Auction in South Dakota, light feeder steers and heifers sold with a higher undertone. Heifers 900 to 950 pounds were steady. The USDA says demand was good. More spring calves are starting to show up in the offerings. Receipts were up on the week and the year. The feeder supply included 84% heifers and 97% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 851 to 881 pounds brought $234.75 to $241.25. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 905 to 945 pounds brought $214.75 to $217.25 and feeder heifers 953 to 959 pounds brought $217.35 to $217.75.
In South Dakota, alfalfa hay was steady. The USDA says there was moderate demand from local hay buyers with the best demand from out-of-state dairies in need of high testing alfalfa. Demand for grass hay was good as calves are headed to feedyard pens and need high quality, long-stemmed hay to get them off to a good start. Alfalfa, large squares brought $300. Alfalfa, good, large squares brought $250. Alfalfa, fair/good, large rounds brought $200. Alfalfa, fair, large squares brought $200. Alfalfa, utility/fair, large squares brought $200. Alfalfa, pellets 17% sun-cured, brought $330. Alfalfa/grass mix, good, large rounds brought $185. Grass, good, large rounds brought $180 to $185. Millet, good, large rounds brought $150.
Boxed beef closed mixed with light to moderate demand for light offerings. Choice was $.39 lower at $300.80 and Select was $.47 higher at $275.49. The Choice/Select spread is $25.31. Estimated cattle slaughter was 112,000 head – even on the week and down 1,000 on the year. Saturday’s estimated kill is 6,000 head – down 11,000 on the week and down 32,000 on the year.